A woman who sensationally claimed she was urged to get an abortion by senior Hawthorn officials has said she will not take part in the AFL’s investigation into the matter.
The indigenous woman who claims to be the victim of “appalling mistreatment by the Hawthorn Football Club” said the code’s independent investigation was “unsafe”.
AFL coaches Alistair Clarkson and Chris Fagan were among a number of then-Hawthorn officials named in claims of racism in a review into the treatment of Indigenous players at the club.
Clarkson and Fagan have strongly denied allegations of racism and misconduct. They have said they are eager to co-operate with any investigation.
But the woman, whose identity remained anonymous, said through lawyers that she was upset the review would “interrogate whether the incidents of abuse even took place”.
“It continues the pattern of abuse it is supposedly addressing,” she said in a statement authored by Marque Lawyers, and reported in the Herald Sun.
She described the investigation as “a huge insult to the many First Nations players and family members who were brave enough to come forward to share and relive the trauma they experienced”.
The non-Indigenous men accused in the report have not yet been given the chance to respond to the allegations.
The woman’s statement accuses the AFL of “imposing” the investigation on them and calls it a “brutal intrusion” on the families at the centre of the claims.
“There is no safety in this; no regard to or respect for privacy, no cultural sensitivity, only brutal intrusion upon the most intimate and traumatic experiences in the lives of the victims of Hawthorn’s mistreatment,” the statement reads.
The AFL responded by acknowledging the “pain, trauma and grief” claimed by the woman but insisted its investigation into the allegations would be impartial.
It said it was important that the accusers were treated respectfully while those accused were given “natural justice”.
It has been reported that other complainants have said they too will refuse to be part of the independent investigation.